Below I have listed several links to some amazingly educational pages. I hope you take the time to check some of these out.
The Basics of Nutrition & Feeding
Horse Nutrition – this is a vast subject and can be immensely challenging and confusing when you start studying it in detail.
There are so many different feeds on the market, all highly recommended as well as many different views as to what is right and wrong. So it is very easy to feel confused.
To try and simplify horse nutrition:-
Horses are foraging animals and need to be continually on the move,
They need to eat small amounts of poorer quality grazing throughout the day,
This then keeps their blood sugar levels balanced.
Read more - click on link above.
The Natural Hoof
This site promotes and supports only natural hoofcare. That means that if a practice or method is not based on the wild horse model, the only NATURAL model for healthy barefootedness, then it will not be supported by this site.
The Paddock Paradise
Get the most out of your pasture or paddock, while helping your horses!
Horse Hoof Thrush
Thrush is an affliction that is found on the underside of a horses hoof and can affect the sole, cleft and frog. Thrush can be caused from fungus or bacteria that develops in damp airless areas of the hoof that are most often packed with manure, dirt and other debris. This affliction can be harmless in the early stages, but if it’s left untreated, it will cause damage to the hoof and even lameness.
What causes thrush?
Its not yet clear whether a type of fungus or bacteria causes this affliction, but most professionals agree that the organism lives in the soil. There is also a theory that the organism responsible for thrush already exists in the horse itself, thriving in the poorly oxygenated areas like the clefts of the hooves. This may not be noticeable in dry weather, but when there is an increase of moisture in the air, then an infection could make itself known.
What are the signs of thrush?
When you are cleaning out the hooves, if you notice a moist, black, foul smelling substance, this is the first sign that thrush is hiding in the cleft. The foul smell is unmistakable and once you smell it for the first time, you will remember that distinct odor. You will be able to scrape out all of the black substance, but there will be a dark stain left behind.
How is the horse affected?
A small amount of thrush can be harmless and even very treatable when caught in the early stages. The most obvious signs are a black tarry substance and a foul smell. If thrush is left untreated, it can spread and damage the hoof and permanently lame the horse.
Can thrush be avoided?
Cleaning the hooves on a regular basis to remove all the debris will allow fresh air to the affected areas, along with keeping the foot dry. Trim the hoof on a regular basis to prevent deep clefts, where the thrush organisms can hide. Most importantly, keep all the areas of your horses environment clean and dry. Remove all manure, soiled bedding or spoiled food and any other damp places that are inviting to bacteria and other organisms.
What is the cure for thrush?
If you discover that your horse has thrush in the early stages, then it will be fairly easy to clear up. When beginning treatment, first make sure that all areas of the horses environment are clean and dry. Too much moisture in the environment can cause thrush to remain in the area, thus causing more problems. Next, you will need to clean out the debris from the hooves with a hoof pick. Be sure to clean the deep areas of the cleft very carefully and thoroughly and then scrub the areas with a stiff brush, being careful of the frog and heel, to get it as clean as possible.
I believe that the horse needs support from the inside out. So feeding Equine Natural Choice's Immune INF may be very helpful. Another option is to pack the hoof with Equine Natural Choice's Wound Choice once a day. The Bentonite clay will help draw out the thrush.
Home remedies such as Betadine and iodine are usually not very effective in the long run. If a home remedy doesn’t get rid of the thrush within a week or if the thrush advances to the point of hoof damage, causing the horse to be lame, then the horse will need to be seen by a veterinarian and may even need the services of an experienced farrier. There are other traditional treatments like hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, or copper napthennate that may be effective against thrush but these can also stain or burn the healthy skin and foot tissue, along with hair and clothing. These harsh chemicals are not really necessary and would not be recommended by seasoned horse owners.